Is Lost Stock a Scam
Is Lost Stock a Scam?
We’ve seen this question bandied about on social media and it's so off the mark that we’ve decided to now tackle it head-on.
We’re not a scam, in fact our motivations are quite the opposite as we have provided work and financial support for those who are less able to help themselves at this time.
We’ve always aimed to be as transparent as possible so hopefully, the below addresses any concerns you might have about Lost Stock.
Who are we?
Lost Stock is part of Mallzee, which is a business that has existed for 8 years and counts the likes of Royal Mail Group, Scottish Investment Bank and Par Equity as long-term shareholders.
Day to day we run a shopping aggregator app but our main work is in utilising the data that is generated from this to help brands and retailers make better stock purchasing decisions.
We came up with the idea of Lost Stock in late April 2020 following reports from the likes of the BBC of garment workers facing hardship due to leading brands cancelling orders for completed goods with no payments being made to factories or workers.
Our target was to sell 10,000 boxes in the first month and hopefully 50,000 by the end of the year. Instead, we sold 75,000 boxes in the first month and we’re on course to have sold over 120,000 boxes by the end of the year. We could have capped the number of orders but have never wanted to limit the support we can provide to people in need.
This increase in volume and the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic on the global freight market has resulted in longer delivery times for initial orders than we originally outlined and we’re really sorry about this.
We’ve now delivered 110,000 orders from the 118,000 that have been placed.
What clothes are included?
We’ve bought items cancelled due to Covid by 50 brands to date to make up Lost Stock orders.
Every adult’s box meets an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of £70. Currently, around 50% of goods are sold by brands under this level which can lead to some people considering goods to be overvalued but this is the only metric we can work on.
When removing the labels from an item can often further reduce the perceived value to some people.
You can see some of the products people have received here.
Where does the money go?
We’ve always been very clear about the costs involved in every order and the fact that we have to pay for both the clothes in each box, all the logistics involved to get your order to you and our time to run Lost Stock.
We’re operating the Lost Stock model with significantly lower margins than any other retail business to maximise the benefit workers receive. The full breakdown of this has been on the front page of our site since launch.
We know it’s not enough for us to just say this though and that’s why we’ve committed to producing an independently verified report on the finances of the full initiative upon completion. The reason we selected SAJIDA Foundation as our partner was due to their in-depth financial reporting and the fact they already work with a range of very reputable companies to run initiatives in Bangladesh.
Where do the products come from?
All of our charity work is done in Bangladesh due to this being the country with the most at-risk workers. We do buy products from other countries as well though where cancellations have occurred.
To date there has been a range of products from India and 3 products bought from factories in China. We only work with factories that meet the highest international standards.
Due to reduced freight options and the ongoing Covid situation in Bangladesh we took the decision to centralise all stock in Hong Kong for packing.
We try and keep our customers updated as much as possible, but sometimes this isn’t possible due to the ever changing situation due to Covid. We have taken feedback into account and are trying to update all our customers on their order on a more regular basis. A lot of the processes need to happen in the background to get your order to you. Our customer service team can always be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Your card and money is always safe
We work with Paypal and Shopify to ensure your transaction is processed securely and you are protected. Our returns rate on Paypal is less than a third of the industry standard.
We have a comprehensive refund policy
For orders within the EU, if you don’t like your order you can complete the process on our refunds page to arrange a refund. No one has been denied a refund through this process. We’re not able to refund an order while it’s making its way through the logistics process, as we’re unable to stop it being delivered at this point. However, once an order arrives we are happy to send over returns options.
We’re clearly not a scam. We’re a company that did something very different to help people at a pretty horrible time. We know we haven’t got everything right, and we’ve faced unexpected delays, but throughout the process, we’ve always looked to take our customer’s feedback on board to improve on anything within our control.
It’s not been an easy process but building a global supply chain during a pandemic was never going to be. We’ve learned and changed a huge amount in this time and it's thanks to everyone for their support of Lost Stock - together we really have done something amazing and helped so many people.
You can buy a Lost Stock box here.
Team Lost Stock